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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Apr 2004
    Location
    Upstate NY
    Posts
    3

    Unanswered: Using FileMaker as a pass through

    I'm using FileMaker 6.0 pro. I'd like to create a WEB page where a client can make a selection from IE that will create a comma delimited extract of a set of records from a mainframe database and store that on a local (to FileMaker server) windows share. I can access the mainframe datasource via ODBC, and can get to it from FileMaker. I'm new to FileMaker so please excuse my ignorance. Can I use FileMaker to provide the browser functionality and generate a comma separated file from the mainframe ODBC source saving it as well for me ?

    Thanks ... Chris

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Feb 2004
    Posts
    84

    Re: Using FileMaker as a pass through

    Originally posted by cconover
    I'm using FileMaker 6.0 pro. I'd like to create a WEB page where a client can make a selection from IE that will create a comma delimited extract of a set of records from a mainframe database and store that on a local (to FileMaker server) windows share. I can access the mainframe datasource via ODBC, and can get to it from FileMaker. I'm new to FileMaker so please excuse my ignorance. Can I use FileMaker to provide the browser functionality and generate a comma separated file from the mainframe ODBC source saving it as well for me ?

    Thanks ... Chris


    Yes, this wouldn't be a big deal. FileMaker will do this without the aid of third party products, but if I were to take the project, I would likely use a plug-in like Troi File or Waves in Motion FileTools to give me the ability to dynamically create folders and filenames.

    You will need to use Custom 'CDML' to perform these tasks, Instant Web Publishing doesn't give you enough control. What version of FileMaker are you using?


    thanks,


    Joe

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Sep 2003
    Location
    So. Cal. USA
    Posts
    142

    Re: Using FileMaker as a pass through

    Hi, Chris! This is not my forte as I am just the opposite as you.. I have no mainframe db and ODBC experience but I hear that although FileMaker supports ODBC, it is not a favorite method among FileMaker developers and it is not as fully functional as one would hope. Again, I'm must passing along hearsay since I have no direct experience w/it, but you may want to find out what FMP users say about FMP and ODBC.

    As for FileMaker on the web, I like it a lot but the pro web developers keep telling me it is over simplistic (which it is). IMO, you will still have to use PHP or some other powerful middleware to do what you want. I use CDML regularly, but it has no functions, classes, methods, or even variables. It's mostly just <tags> that display/show db info... no math, no actions other than on the db [-find, -new, -edit, -delete, -view, -findany, -findall... that's mostly it].

    EX -
    [FMP-if: userlevel .eq. "staff"]Why, hello, there, [FMP-field:username]! [/FMP-if]

    --ST

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Apr 2004
    Location
    Upstate NY
    Posts
    3
    Thanks for your responses. I was thinking of scripting the import (via ODBC) and the Export (comma separated) and attaching the script to the Web Page button. Is that the best way ?

    Thanks ... Chris

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Sep 2003
    Location
    So. Cal. USA
    Posts
    142
    Don't know... sorry. FYI, though... FileMaker 7 is supposedly the most significant version step in FileMaker's history to date so you may want to look into that. Of course, it's very newness means there's less info out there about it, too. FMP versions pre-7 on the web were single-threaded so there were all sorts of problems with FMP scripts made from it's otherwise great ScriptMaker.

    I'll try to send you a message with a tip, too.
    --ST

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Feb 2004
    Posts
    84
    Originally posted by Steve T.
    Don't know... sorry. FYI, though... FileMaker 7 is supposedly the most significant version step in FileMaker's history to date so you may want to look into that. Of course, it's very newness means there's less info out there about it, too. FMP versions pre-7 on the web were single-threaded so there were all sorts of problems with FMP scripts made from it's otherwise great ScriptMaker.

    I'll try to send you a message with a tip, too.
    --ST

    I just went back to the top and read your original request and I think some of the advise is getting a little off-topic. You have data on a SQL/ODBC enabled server that you need to query and generate a file file to a know share point.

    You are basically using FileMaker as a utility program and you do not need for FileMaker to host anything; therefore teh converstaion about CDML, PHP, etc is not required.

    I am rapidly becoming an authority of FileMaker 7, but I don't that being an issue here other than to say that to host FMP 7 databases can get costly.

    The best approach seems to me to the the following. Use a form to collect the search information. The form would save a text file to the server system. Upon 'submitting the form' a VB could trigger a FileMaker script ( I have a sample if you need). The FileMaker script would import the text file, query the odbc data source, and write the text file to the folder of our choice. An email could easily be created upon completion, or the file could be emailed for that matter.


    This method would not require FileMaker Pro to be exposed to the outside world and you don't need to worry with Lasso, PHP, or CDML. If we took this method a step further and had the formed emailed to the FileMaker system then the web server would even need to have access through the firewall (only the incoming mail server).

    If you were using an MAPI server (like Exchange) the script would be trigger upon arrival otherwise it would be checked on a schedule like any other POP3 mail account.


    hope this helps...

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Apr 2004
    Location
    Upstate NY
    Posts
    3
    Very helpful thanks for the info.... I'm actually coding the SQL selection within a script. The only problem is, I have a date comparison involved. I need to be sure that the where clause compares the ODBC datasource date field against the current date.

    Any ideas on getting this comparison to happen. Seems like current date is available to scripts, but I'm not sure how to use it if not part of the database itself.

    Thanks ... Chris

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Feb 2004
    Posts
    84
    Originally posted by cconover
    Very helpful thanks for the info.... I'm actually coding the SQL selection within a script. The only problem is, I have a date comparison involved. I need to be sure that the where clause compares the ODBC datasource date field against the current date.

    Any ideas on getting this comparison to happen. Seems like current date is available to scripts, but I'm not sure how to use it if not part of the database itself.

    Thanks ... Chris


    If you have a calc set to Status(CurrentDate) function as 'unstored' then the contents of that field will always be the current date. I'm not sure what you mean that "it's not a part of the database itself".


    thanks,


    Joe

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